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@sursh
Last active Sep 27, 2017
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Introducing RC Connections

RC Connections is a way of connecting with others in the Recurse Center community.

Rooted in the belief that everyone has experience and skills that are valuable to someone else, we have no separate list for mentors and mentees. We are all mentors. We are all mentees. For example, Sasha and Andrew had a phone chat recently where she helped him structure a talk he was working on and he told her about the master’s program he recently finished, as she’s considering doing one herself.

If you know a specific person in RC that you'd like to talk with, then you should probably reach out to them directly! RC Connections is meant to facilitate discussion when it's not obvious that a potential connection should happen.

This service is organized by alumni (currently, Sasha and Andrew). Furthermore, RC Connections is an experiment. We welcome and encourage feedback. Please use the #connections Zulip stream to discuss.

How it works:

  • We’ll start on a ~monthly rhythm
  • Mentees pose a question that they would like advice or perspective on
  • Questions are anonymized and sent to mentors. If any resonate, mentors volunteer to chat by submitting their contact info.
  • Mentees get a list of the person(s) interested in their question. Mentees reach out to set up a time to talk with as many of them as they like.
  • Meet up and get to know a fellow Recurser!

Tips for Mentees:

  • Recursers come from every walk of life. When posing your question, try to give a little context for the mentors. For example, looking for advice on getting a promotion will look very different to the person in their first programming job than it will to a director of engineering with 10 years experience.
  • Your question does not have to be about programming or even about work!
  • Be flexible and defer to the mentor’s meeting preferences for mode, location, length, etc.
  • After the meeting, it’s really nice to send a note over with brief thanks and the takeaways from your talk that you found helpful, and results, if any. Mentors LOVE hearing that they helped! It’s nice to send a thanks right away, and it’s never too late to send the takeaways/results note.
  • If you don’t get any bites on your question, don’t give up! Your question is worthwhile and you are worthwhile. This program is just getting started so we may not get enough mentors the first time around. Consider asking around RC, searching the private directory and reaching out to people directly, or editing and submitting it again next time.

Tips for Mentors:

  • It’s totally optional, but we encourage you to say a little bit about why this question resonates with you and how you can help. Being welcoming encourages people to reach out for help, which can be difficult.
  • If you have preferences about where, when, and how to meet up, let the other person know.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable giving “advice” you can always stick to sharing your experience and what worked for you.
  • Get to know the mentee’s context and goals first—they may be quite different from yours.
  • If you see someone who has the same question that you have, feel free to answer. Just let them know in the comments field that you’re in the same boat. It can be really nice to meet people going through the same thing as you!

Tips for Everyone:

  • If you have time and are in the same city, we suggest meeting up in person. If not, we suggest a video chat. Phone is totally fine if none of those options work out, but the idea is to make a genuine connection and get to know a fellow Recurser and face to face conversation is the best way to do that quickly.
  • If both people are interested, feel free to keep in touch and meet up after the month is over if you like! :)
  • Remember that in life, everyone is a mentor and everyone is a mentee. Mentors, you may find that mentees can teach you a lot about some other area.
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